“I was wondering when this was going to happen,” John Paul Titlow reports for ReadWrite. “As soon as Apple launched iOS 5 last year, many of us in the tech press took one look at its iMessage feature and thought the same thing: The carriers are screwed. This week, we saw the first sign that that prediction may be coming true.”

“Carriers are still getting a hefty chunk of revenue from texting, but this week they saw the first-ever decline in SMS text messaging, according to a new report by independent mobile analyst Chetan Sharma,” Titlow reports. “In the third quarter of this year, the number of text messages people sent to one another in the U.S. dropped by about 2%. That may not sound like much, but considering how fast texting had been growing – especially among young people – the fact that the number declined at all is significant.”

Titlow reports, “It’s not that people are any less connected or firing off any fewer messages. They’re just doing it in different ways. One of the biggest culprits is indeed iMessage, which operates exactly as text messages do, but bypasses the carrier entirely for Apple to Apple communications. Another culprit is Facebook’s Messenger app. It turns Facebook’s desktop IM feature into a very SMS-like communication method, again without having to route messages through the mobile provider.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Text messages decline for first time ever in Q3, thanks to Apple’s iMessage, Wi-Fi, and others – November 12, 2012
Dear Apple, either make iMessage work every time or just give it up already – September 17, 2012
The disruptive power of Apple’s iMessage – March 22, 2012